Updated: 03/25/2014 10:56 AM
Created: 03/25/2014 10:47 AM WDIO.com
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says Bald eagles will be migrating back to Minnesota over the next few weeks. DNR officials say large numbers of the majestic birds may be seen across parts of the state.
"Ice is breaking up along the rivers, so it's definitely time for folks to keep their eyes out," DNR regional nongame wildlife specialist, Lisa Gelvin-Innvaer said in a press release. "It all depends on the weather. It’s typical to see eagles coming through our area in mid-to-late March, as waters begin to open up and snow melts.”
According to the press release: Only two states, Florida and Alaska, have greater nesting populations of bald eagles than Minnesota. In 2005, researchers estimated there are more than 1,300 active nests in Minnesota.
Fall migration typically occurs as lakes and rivers freeze over, since most eagles prefer a diet of fish. Bald eagle wintering grounds ideally contain open water, ample food, limited human disturbance and protective roosting sites.
Not all bald eagles migrate southward in the fall, Gelvin-Innvaer said. In southern Minnesota, it's common for some eagle pairs to stay the winter, especially during milder winters.
“This winter we’ve had a lot more snow and cold temperatures than last year,” Gelvin-Innvaer said. “It makes carrion a bit harder for eagles to find.”
Bald eagles that stay local may begin courting and nesting as early as December or January. Other bald eagles return to their breeding territories, as soon as a food source is available.
"Eagle migration hotspots are a bit of a moving target, so it's hard to say where the eagles are right now," Gelvin-Innvaer said. "In Minnesota, the biggest migrations tend to be along the Minnesota River corridor, the north shore of Lake Superior and around Lake Pepin in southeastern Minnesota."
Adult bald eagles are easily identified by a white head and tail contrasting with a dark brown body. Bald eagles attain full adult plumage in their fourth or fifth year. In flight, bald eagles are sometimes confused with turkey vultures. However, bald eagles have a tendency to soar on flat, board-like wings, while turkey vultures fly with their wings in a v-shape.
Bald eagles are an example of how they and many other wildlife species benefit directly from donations made to the nongame wildlife checkoff on Minnesota tax forms. Checkoff dollars fund research, surveys and education for more than 700 nongame wildlife species. Each dollar donated is matched by funds from the Reinvest In Minnesota account.
The DNR’s nongame wildlife program is now streaming live video of a nesting pair of bald eagles on its website at www.webcams.dnr.state.mn.us/eagle. For additional information on bald eagles or where to view them, go to www.mndnr.gov/birds/eagles/winter_wabasha.html or www.mndnr.gov/snapshots/birds/baldeagle.html.
DNR Talks Safety After Hunter Attacked By Bear, More Details Released
Family members said a hunter is undergoing a second surgery after a bear attack in Pine County. Brandon Johnson is from North Branch and was attacked by a wounded bear early Saturday morning. DNR officials and hunting guides said tracking a wounded bear alone is not recommended.
MSHSL to Vote on Policy Changes for Transgender Athletes
It's in reference to a proposed Minnesota State High School League policy that's scheduled to be voted on this week. The policy would allow transgender high school athletes to play in sports based on their gender identity, not their gender at birth.
Domestic Violence Deaths Reach 77 in Minnesota, Wisconsin for 2013
Domestic violence resulted in 77 deaths in Minnesota and Wisconsin in 2013. A group called End Domestic Abuse Wisconsin released the latest numbers for Wisconsin on Monday. Advocates in the Twin Ports say the important thing is to work toward fewer deaths in 2014.
Level III Sex Offender Moving to Rural Duluth
The St. Louis County Sheriff's Office says a sex offender is moving to a rural Duluth neighborhood next month.
Fire at Lincoln Park Apartment Building Under Investigation
Fire officials are investigating the cause of a blaze that broke out at an apartment building on 18th Avenue West near Superior Street on Monday. The fire caused $30,000 in damages.